Half-Term Fun May 2013
Our quick guide to keeping your kids entertained
Half-term can be the worst for parents, grand parents as well as uncles and aunts across Swindon if they can't think of anything to stop the kids wrecking the house with boredom.
So if you're in that category, we sympathise - and here's a few ideas.
Starts 26 May ends 02 June
Take a trip around the farm on the tractor trailer rides spotting scarecrows along the way.
The Manor Farm Estate
From their friendly farmyard animals to mountain biking, swimming, nature trails & much more...
Tuesday 28 and Thursday 30 May, from 10am to 11am and 11.30am to 12.30pm
Discover more about the mini-beasts and wildlife that lurks beneath the surface of Lydiard Park's lakes. This is a practical session to find and identify wildlife - £3 per child.
Numbers are limited so do book to avoid disappointment. Please call us on 01793 770401 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book places. Suitable for children aged 5+ - children must be accompanied by an adult.
Cotswold Country Park
There are also a selection of excellent chainsaw sculptures dotted around the park ranging from their mascot, Wayward The Beaver, to the spectacular flying dragonfly.
Swindon's Famous Duck Race
Westcott Recreation Ground
Monday 27 May, 10.00am - 4.00pm
This fun family event is back once again and taking over Westcott Recreation Ground (opposite Arkell's pub The Running Horse).
Buy your duck, pop it in the water and keep those fingers crossed that it reaches the finish line first... Thereís £1000 to be won!
There are loads of great prizes on offer and most importantly, lots and lots of money will be raised for charity - you'd be quack-ers to miss it!
Take to the Water!
Waterskiing or Wakeboarding
Given the colder weather, the cable is only open at weekends and Wednesdays. But with a wet suit you might not notice the difference!
Get Them On Track
If you think you've got the next Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button on your hands, then let your little speed-demons put their racing skills to the test at Swindon Karting.
Best of all is their Fiver Fridays, where from 4pm-6pm (for under-16s) kids can enjoy a 7 minute session for just £5 - bargain!
Take the kids racing!
Children under 16 only £1 entry fee (adults £5).
Restaurant and bar facilities available.
Plus we've teamed up with the Swindon Greyhounds to offer every Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - FREE ENTRY for up to 4 people with mySwindonWeb
All you need to do is sign-up to mySwindonWeb today!
Ice, Ice baby!
Children love a go on the ice and the ice rink at the Link Centre is the ideal place to for an hour or two of fun - and bumps!
Wind In The Willows
Wednesday 29 May
This vibrant musical production has all of Kenneth Grahameís Tales of the River Bank, the Open Road, the Wild Wood, the exuberant Mr Toad and Mole, Ratty and Badger.
Beautifully written, played and produced this show in Image Musical Theatreís immensely popular format gives the opportunity for everyone to take part.
Some children play the rabbits, the ducks and the thieving weasels while the whole audience learns the chorusí of four songs.
This is family theatre at its very best!
Ticket Prices: £8, Child £6, Family £25
For more information please visit the Arts Centre website.
More treats include STEAMís new Whatís in Store exhibition where visitors get to see a whole range of previously unseen rare historical objects from the STEAM Collection and an educational Stop, Look and Listen trail.
Children get to be creative and make new friends at STEAMís popular Smiley Cats Club, running on Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 May, 9.30am Ė 1.00pm.
The theme this Half-Term is the Up movie. The price is £12.00 per session, or £9.50 with a SwindonCard (including all craft materials, healthy mid-morning snacks, and a supervised tour of the Museum). Sessions need to be booked in advance via www.smileycats.co.uk or call 01793 700221 or 07802 537876.
And those wanting to meet real railway workers can do just that at STEAMís fornightly Meet the Railway Workers event taking place on Saturday 01 June, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
STEAM volunteers bring the story of steam engines - and the Great Western Railway Ė to life as they invite visitors to climb aboard Caerphilly Castle and Lode Star.
> STEAM Museum - website
Time Travellers Activity Pack
Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
Pictures to colour, models to make, quizzes to complete, Latin exams to take.
Become an artist and potter, play Sea Monster Snap and Victorian Happy Families.
Suitable for all ages, but particularly 5 - 11 year olds. Price still only £1.75.
Childrens Computer Club
Museum of Computing
The club runs on Saturday mornings from 10:00 to 12:00 and is aimed at 8 to 16 year olds.
The cost is £3 per child for a 2 hour session which includes admission to the museum.
Swindon & Cricklade Railway
Wednesday 29 May
The railway is open on Wednesday during half-term week for normal train rides, so why not bring the kids along and enjoy some good old-fashioned fun on the railway.
London town here we come!
Why not take the little one's on a coach trip?
Barnes Coaches are making special trips during half-term week to places like the British & Imperial museums and London Eye, HMS Victory and the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Legoland and much more!
Pick-up and drop-off points are at plenty of locations all over Swindon.
Check out their website for more details.
Little ones always like an indoor game, and if it's a rainy day then the
interactive and imaginative Jolly Roger indoor soft play area is the ideal place to keep them occupied for a couple of hours.
Take in the Tropics!
They've got hundreds of butterflies flying about plus loads more to see and do including a display a mini beats and an outdoor animal paddock with ducks, geese, rabbits and goats.
And don't forget to take a look at their Otter home which is nearing completion.
The next door craft village is also a great place to explore.
> Butterfly World
Meerkats Manor - in Swindon!
If there's one sight guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face it has to be meerkats. And at Studley Grange there are quite a few of them!
The whole gang venture out from their cosy cabin and into their purpose-built enclosure throughout the day and are well worth checking out alongside other animals - including otters - in the animal enclosure.
Children's Play Areas
Time to let young Billy and little Lizzie climb all over each other for an hour while you enjoy a well earned break.
Kidz About in West Swindon offers safe and secure family fun for 0-12 years old.
At the Zoo!
Take your cheeky monkeys somewhere they can really run wild! Open all year round with fun activities to do and lots of animals to see.
Saturday 25 - Friday 31 May
A whole week dedicated to one furry little animal! Lemur themed activities, events and talks, to highlight the park's Lemur Conservation programme in Madagascar, helping to save Lemurs in the wild.
Happy animals and a fun day out
Lambs and kids to bottle feed, tiny chicks to cuddle and trailer rides to enjoy just in South Cerney just outside Swindon.
Bring a picnic or enjoy something delicious and locally made from the farm cafe and shop.
> Butts Farm - website
Bowl 'em Over!
Let them rip at the bowling alley for a couple of hours. That'll tire them out.
At the Movies!
So make sure you check out our full listings of all the cinema times.
Cup cakes, painted pots and more!
Try these at Studley Grange Craft Village on Jnct 16.
Or just let the kids dip their toes!
Listen for the giggles as kids enjoy a Gurra Fish Spa treatment. Or maybe you can just make them watch as you sit back and relax yourself.
Available for 8-15 year olds with an accompanying adult.
Chuck them in the Pool
If the sun is shining how about - pitch 'n putt in Swindon
You don't need to be Tiger Woods to enjoy a fun game of golf in Swindon.
There are 2 great pitch and putt courses to try - one at Coate Water, the other in Highworth.
Both offer a simple course (the Coate Water one over 18 holes) where beginners of all ages can have a go without fear of embarrassing themselves.
And for all the other fun for all the family.
And...for those still desperate!
Swindon isn't Disney World, but did you think we only had a few ideas for getting the kids out of your hair? Just click below for loads more...